Today’s Reading: Deuteronomy 33:1-29 (additional reading Psalm 78:65-72 and Proverbs 12:25)
Deuteronomy 33 is a wonderful piece of Hebrew poetry in which Moses addresses each one of the twelve tribes of Israel and gives each one a particular blessing, a blessing to sustain them as they experienced Canaan’s great benefits and bounty. In verses 24 – 29 we have words that are not only beautiful, but also words of real brevity and simplicity that sum up the help and hope experienced by Moses himself from his own relationship with God and also that help that he would pass on in final blessing to the people.
Moses tells the people ‘The eternal God is your refuge’ The word “refuge” here normally refers to the den or lair of a wild animal of the desert, and for that animal it is a place of protection from the heat of the sun; sudden flash floods of the desert and the constant dangers of other predators. It was a haven. It is what we would call a home. For many years Moses was homeless. He was out in the desert trying to bring a multitude of people safely through to the land of Canaan.
Moses didn’t find a place called home, he found a Person. A Person who was everything to him. Even more than that we would describe as home. Jehovah, the God of Israel, was his home. Moses is saying that God was his dwelling place, his home, his protection, his haven, his refuge.
Yesterday we spoke about keeping our focus on eternity. Often we make this world our dwelling place when we should like Moses be making God our dwelling place. He is not only the eternal God who provides salvation but He is also the God who provides continuing care: “The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms; …”
When we read through the Psalms we get a glimpse of the passion and important which the psalmist places on dwelling in the house of God, the presence of God. Is this our experience? Where do you feel more at home? In your house, with your friends, at your company or is God’s presence the place you would call home?
- Do you feel at home with God?
- Where do you seek your place of belonging?